JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

January 22, 2011
The Palladium Ballroom
Dallas, TX USA
Review by David Huff
Photos by Travis Tutwiler

Underoath - Underoath, Thursday, A Skylit Drive, Animals as Leaders

It is extremely rare that a group retains its original name despite the fact none of the founding members are part of the band any more. Then again, Underoath isn't your typical hard-core Christian metal band. In fact, applying the term "Christian Rock" to this outfit is doing them a disservice. The six-man ensemble is led by vocalist Spencer Chamberlain. The band came out smoking with their first song, "Illuminator," from their just released album on Road Runner Records, Disambiguation, and never looked back.

Throughout the night's set, the packed house at the Palladium rocked to the multi-colored screen effects and light display that accompanied each song. "In Regards to Myself" and "Writing on the Walls" were crowd favorites, but the highlight of the evening was the band's fist-pumping, seminal hit, "It's a Dangerous Business Walking Out your Front Door."

The group Thursday, out of New Brunswick, New Jersey was the perfect segue into Underoath. Crowned the next big thing in punk several years ago, the group has been credited with giving emo and post hard-core music a commercial foundation to build on. To underscore the point, the band reached back into its past to play their masterpiece, Full Collapse, from beginning to end. For those Thursday fans in the know, and there plenty of them this evening, it was like they had died and gone to heaven. Vocalist Geoff Rickly was on the top of his game as were guitarists Tom Keely and Steve Pedulla. The crowd was drained when they left the stage.

A Skylit Drive is an interesting band. Seriously, that's all I can say. Having never seen them before, it's hard to describe exactly how I felt about the band. However, if I had to search for a reason, it would be the band that opened the night's festivities, Animals as Leaders. This band is massively talented, and unfortunately for A Skylit Drive, they had to follow this three-piece outfit led by sensational guitarist Tosin Abasi. I was absolutely blown away by this band's exceptional take on rock. Seriously, the music took me back to the glory days of the '70s when bands like Genesis, Yes, ELP and Pink Floyd set the standards for progressive rock music.

Overall, this was a tremendous bill for the very reasonably priced admission charged at the door. Congratulations go out to the booking agent who put this bill together.